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The Wanderers by Meg Howrey
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The Wanderers

$28.00 USD

Get for $14.99 with membership
Narrator Mozhan Marnò
Length 10 hours 42 minutes
Language English
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A brilliantly inventive novel about three astronauts training for the first-ever mission to Mars, an experience that will push the boundary between real and unreal, test their relationships, and leave each of them—and their families—changed forever.
“A transcendent, cross-cultural, and cross planetary journey into the mysteries of space and self....Howrey’s expansive vision left me awestruck.”—Ruth Ozeki

“Howrey's exquisite novel demonstrates that the final frontier may not be space after all.”—J. Ryan Stradal

In an age of space exploration, we search to find ourselves.
In four years, aerospace giant Prime Space will put the first humans on Mars. Helen Kane, Yoshihiro Tanaka, and Sergei Kuznetsov must prove they’re the crew for the historic voyage by spending seventeen months in the most realistic simulation ever created. Constantly observed by Prime Space’s team of "Obbers," Helen, Yoshi, and Sergei must appear ever in control. But as their surreal pantomime progresses, each soon realizes that the complications of inner space are no less fraught than those of outer space. The borders between what is real and unreal begin to blur, and each astronaut is forced to confront demons past and present, even as they struggle to navigate their increasingly claustrophobic quarters—and each other. 

Astonishingly imaginative, tenderly comedic, and unerringly wise, The Wanderers explores the differences between those who go and those who stay, telling a story about the desire behind all exploration: the longing for discovery and the great search to understand the human heart.

Meg Howrey is a former dancer who performed with The Joffrey, Eglevsky Ballet, and City Ballet of Los Angeles. She is the author of two previous novels, Blind Sight and The Cranes Dance, and the coauthor of the bestselling novels City of Dark Magic, and City of Lost Dreams, published under the pen name Magnus Flyte. Her non-fiction has appeared in Vogue and The Los Angeles Review of Books. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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Gift audiobooks to anyone in the world from the comfort of your home. You choose the membership (3, 6, or 12 months/credits), your gift recipient picks their own audiobooks, and local bookstores is supported by your purchase.

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"The Wanderers is phenomenal. A transcendent, cross-cultural and cross-planetary journey into the mysteries of space and self, the novel explores the dangers and necessities of venturing away from the familiar and finding home in the unknown. Howrey's expansive vision left me awestruck.”—Ruth Ozeki, New York Times bestselling and Man Booker shortlisted author of A Tale for the Time Being

"Straddling the fine line between outer space and the world we know, The Wanderers is a breathtakingly honest and incredibly beautiful examination of the heart and soul of humankind. The further you progress into the astronaut limbo, the more difficult it becomes to parse through what’s real and what isn’t—and the more it becomes clear that this is a book that isn’t like anything you’ve ever read before."  —Newsweek

"Howrey subtly explores the tensions between our inner and projected selves. Thanks to her wry sense of humor, it totally works. . . .  [A]n often funny story that grows poignant in its final chapters." —The Washington Post

“Every single character in The Wanderers feels distinct and vivid, a planet in his or her own right.” Slate

"Engrossing. . . . Although the contours of a space drama may seem familiar to a 21st-century readership, Howrey, through the poetry of her writing and the richness of her characters, makes it all seem new. A lyrical and subtle space opera." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Three astronauts and those who know them best explore the limits of truth and love in Howrey’s genre-bending novel. . . . The voices are distinct, each member reviewing and acting on his or her own emotional telemetry with equal parts brilliance and blunder, and the stakes are high, with any heartbeat capable of tipping the scales against the crew’s survival. . . . With these believably fragile and idealistic characters at the helm, Howrey’s insightful novel will take readers to a place where they too can 'lift their heads and wonder.'" Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Add Howrey's novel, which centers on astronauts exploring both outer and inner space, to the list of must-consume, intergalatic art.Nylon, "50 Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2017"

"Howrey presents an extraordinarily empathetic and well-realized look at the astronauts and their families as they progress through the Eidolon mission. Compelling and timely, these parallel tales of exploration, both through the galaxy and within, should win over a wide variety of readers."  —Library Journal 

“Play[s] with notions of counterfeits and authenticity. . . . Is the Eidolon mission all it appears to be? Or more? The unfolding of that mystery launches this plausible space tale into higher realms of enjoyment.” —The Associated Press

"[I]nventive, lyrical and immersive."

"[C]onfronts ageless questions of why humans explore, what they are looking for, and what happens when they find it. Evoking the authenticity of Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves with the literary sensitivity of Ann Patchett, Howrey has made the mission-to-Mars motif an exquisite exploration of human space, inner and outer." Booklist

“An expansive tale of the costs of human ambition, The Wanderers is unquestionably the work of a brilliant writer at the height of her powers. Meticulously researched and magnificently rendered, Howrey’s dazzling novel on humankind’s most ambitious project is, in itself, a work of wondrous skill and ambition, a book about space that’s truly about people, but also about the lonely wonder of true trailblazers, the disparate cast behind a great life, and the compromises that build success. Fiercely inventive and deeply empathetic, Howrey’s exquisite novel demonstrates that the final frontier may not be space after all.” —J. Ryan Stradal, New York Times bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest

"A beautiful take on the human cost of a mission to Mars . . . [P]rovides plenty of food for thought in a world that will very likely contend with a real mission to Mars in the near future." The Verge

The Wanderers is a stealthily brilliant novel. A distinct, shimmering vision of who we are and where we think we want to go. Meg Howrey’s three astronauts and their families seem to embody the whole human race at the signal moment of a growth spurt. They exist, as we do now, at the edge of science fiction, their story propelled by a seriousness and intelligence wrapped in a comic and tender humanity. Meg Howrey delivers this vision in a prose that feels new, sui generis, its own necessary vehicle, with a kind of sleek precision that is at once simple, gorgeous, and profoundly moving.” —Peter Nichols, national bestselling author of The Rocks and A Voyage for Madmen

"Brilliantly weaves together the vastness of outer space with the intimacy of human nature. . . . A wonderfully introspective novel on the meaning of space exploration and what we learn about ourselves when facing the unknown." —Shelf Awareness

"[A] compelling and empathetic novel about astronauts and their families." Largehearted Boy

"[The] combination of hard science and interesting characters makes The Wanderers a fascinating novel." —The Space Review

“Elegant, thoughtful, gorgeously written. A meditation on solitude, connection, aspiration, imagination and reality, which builds effortlessly to moments of immense power and honesty. There are passages near the end of this book that I will never forget.” —Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe and Sorry Please Thank You

"Howrey's writing is beautiful . . . A story that offers genuine insight into what it takes to be human. As Howrey strips her characters down to the core, we are ultimately left wondering if the greatest adventure we can undertake is actually the journey within ourselves." Starburst Magazine

"The Wanderers provides a moving and lyrical take on space exploration." RT Book Reviews

"[I]t's Howrey's ability to delicately unspool the psychological underpinnings of her characters and their relationships that truly makes this story shine. . . . The Wanderers isn't a book that one could easily pigeonhole. It is smart and heartfelt and funny and sad, marked with a sophisticated simplicity. The truth is that no matter the genre in which you might place it, there's only one label that fits it just right. . . . Exceptional." —The Maine Edge

"Howrey's literary novel is as much a character study as it is about space, exploring Helen and her crewmates' profound isolation on their simulated journey." —Paste, "Best Books of 2017"

"Meg Howrey has perfectly captured the pull of outer space, the joy of exploration, the power of human endeavour and our thirst for freedom - and within that she shows us too the ties that root us to Earth, the love and loss, the humour and fragility that make us who we are. The Wanderers is an astounding, insightful, exhilarating ride." —Helen Sedgwick, author of The Comet Seekers

"The Wanderers is a revelation - a riveting tale of space travel that is also a profound exploration of self. It is full of ideas, full of life and - bless it for this - full of humour. A wise and wonderful novel - I loved every page of it." —Antonia Hodgson, author of The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins

"The Wanderers is a wonderful exploration of space, trust, and what it means to be a conscious creature, finely-tuned and funny from the first page to the last. I loved getting lost in Meg Howrey's off-kilter world of astronauts and their simulated fantasies. She's a writer with an amazing eye for freedom and confinement and the thin line that sometimes lies between the two." —Jonathan Lee, author of High Dive Expand reviews